Macy Miner, of the Central College Team, tells the comical challenges of language barriers, and local wildlife, as they serve the Lord in Haiti.
Greetings from Haiti!
After spending last evening hunting down a giant tarantula in the bathroom (yes, tarantula as in the huge poisonous spider), we prepared for our first nights sleep in the country. Before going to bed, we had a lengthy discussion debating what time we were going to set our alarms for breakfast. Breakfast was at 7:30 and we all agreed upon what we thought was a 7:00 alarm. Beth and I had snoozed our alarm twice before finally realizing we were going to be late to breakfast. Worried that we missed the meal, we sprung out of bed and ran down the hall. We got to the main area only to find an empty table. Well, we, along with every other member of our group, discovered that our phones had not yet adjusted to Hatian time and were one hour early. Relieved and groggy, we all stumbled back into our beds and fell right to sleep.
The next portion of our day consisted of helping Heidi out with Thrive for Five, which began at 9:00 am. Our group spent the next few hours mingling and sharing God’s love with mothers and their children. Even though we could not communicate with them easily through Creole (our skills are improving), we all spoke the language of God. The children were especially excited to see us. They sang, played, and laughed their ways into our hearts, leaving an everlasting impression on our souls. Today was especially exciting for Thrive because we tried a new activity station with PlayDough! The kids loved it, but I think the mothers loved it more. It was so popular that we had to set up a second table! Once activity time was over, we served the families food, and Emma passed out a special treat of chocolate.
As soon as Thrive For Five ended, we were right back on our feet to deliver food to families in the surrounding communities.Group food distribution
We all piled into the back of Pushón’s truck and headed into the city to gather supplies of rice, oil, and pasta. We drove through Pignon along the base of a mountain (which we will climb on Saturday) until we arrived at our first destination. At this stop, we met and delivered food to three of the four families scheduled for food distribution today. Like I mentioned earlier, our Creole language skills are progressing, so, we were able to have a short conversation with a couple of the children which consisted of saying “Hello” (bonjour), “What is your name?” (Komman ou rele) and “How old are you?” (Kil aj ou) After getting to know everyone, we prayed together and blessed the family. We piled back into the truck to drop Alan off at the base before heading to see our final family of the day.
A woman who received food Emma with an elderly man
Upon arriving back at the compound, exhausted but fulfilled with Christ’s love, Liz suggested we have our first Mango Moment. What is a Mango Moment you may ask? Well, the compound has an abundant amount of mango trees. We spent about half an hour picking three different kinds of mangoes (and by picking them I mean having Ben climb the tree or having Woody knock them down with a stick). After the harvesting was done, we all gorged ourselves on as many mangoes as our stomachs could hold before dinner. With thick, orange juice running down our arms and mango fibers stuck in between our teeth, we took our first “Mango Moment Selfie.”
Preparing Mangoes Mango Moment
We are now relaxing by snacking on sugar coated toasted peanuts, journaling, and playing cards. We will soon be headed to bed as we leave to hike and tour the Citadel at five tomorrow morning. (Hopefully our alarms will be set at the correct time and not an hour ahead or behind).
On a more personal note, my favorite experience I have had so far in Haiti is when I tell the little children my name. The Haitian word for thank you is Mesí, pronounced meh-see, and all of the kids think I am literally named “thank you.” I get a kick out of the looks of bewilderment and confusion when I introduce myself to new friends. The neighborhood kids began calling out “Mesí, Mesí” as they ran behind the truck while we pulled back into the gate after today’s work.
Overall, today left us all tired and drained. However, it is impossible to let exhaustion interfere with the overwhelming power of generosity and humbleness God has bestowed upon our hearts. Seeing the hope and strength of the people we have met makes the dust, grime, and soreness all seem minute. It is love that gives us strength and it is God who gives us love. What can get better than that?